Energy requirement for maintenance and growth of Nellore bulls and steers fed high-forage diets. Academic Article uri icon


  • Data from three comparative slaughter experiments with individually fed Nellore bulls (n = 31) and steers (n = 66) were utilized to determine their NEm and NEg requirements when fed high-forage diets. The experimental design provided ranges in ME intake, BW, and ADG for the development of regression equations to predict NEm and NEg requirements. The Nellore bulls (Trial 1) were divided into two intake levels (ad libitum and 65% of the ad libitum). The steers (Trials 2 and 3) were allocated to three intake levels (ad libitum and 55 and 70% of the ad libitum). In both trials, there were three slaughter groups within each intake level. The three end points for the bulls were different days on treatment (100, 150, and 190 d and 130, 180, and 200 d, respectively, for older and younger animal subgroups). The steers were slaughtered when animals of the ad libitum treatment reached 400, 440, and 480 kg shrunk BW (SBW) on average for the first, second, and third group, respectively. For all body composition determinations, whole empty body components were weighed, ground, and subsampled for chemical analysis. In each of the trials, initial body composition was determined with equations developed from a baseline slaughter group, using SBW and empty BW (EBW), fat (EBF), and protein (EBP) as variables. The NEm was similar for bulls and steers; NEm averaged 77.2 kcal/ kg0.75 EBW. However, the efficiency of conversion of ME to net energy for maintenance was greater for steers than for bulls (68.8 and 65.6%, respectively), indicating that bulls had a greater ME requirement for maintenance than steers (5.4%; P < 0.05). Our analyses do not support the NRC (2000) conclusion that Nellore, a Bos indicus breed, has a lower net energy requirement for maintenance than Bos taurus breeds. An equation developed with the pooled data to predict retained energy (RE) was similar to the NRC (2000) equation. A second equation was developed to predict RE adjusted for degree of maturity (u): RE = (6.45 - 2.58/u) x EWG x e(0.469) x u), where u = current EBW/final EBW in which final EBW was 365 kg for steers and younger bulls and 456 kg for older bulls at 22% EBF, respectively.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Tedeschi, L. O., Boin, C., Fox, D. G., Leme, P. R., Alleoni, G. F., & Lanna, D.

citation count

  • 67

complete list of authors

  • Tedeschi, LO||Boin, C||Fox, DG||Leme, PR||Alleoni, GF||Lanna, DPD

publication date

  • June 2002